SaddleBrooke Community Outreach Happenings

Register Now for the 24th Annual SBCO Walk for Kids!

Participants in previous SBCO walks have enjoyed a morning of exercise, chatting with friends, and helping support programs for local kids.

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

The SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) Walk for Kids (formerly known as The Walkathon) will be held at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29. This SBCO event helps support our programs benefiting youngsters from Catalina to the San Carlos Indian Reservation and the Miami school system. Annually, SBCO touches the lives of approximately 4,000 students through new clothes, backpacks filled with school supplies, college scholarships, contributions to Tri-Community Food Bank, and financial support for a wide range of educational enrichment activities.

Online registration for the 2022 Walk for Kids is available at The registration fee of $30 per adult and $10 per child (ages 6 through 18) covers the cost of the T-shirt, snacks, and entertainment. In-person registration using cash or check begins on Tuesday, Sept. 6, and runs through Oct. 28, every Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the SBCO office at Suite L in the Minit-Market Plaza. Registrations (online or in person) received after Sept. 28 are not guaranteed a T-shirt or a shirt in the desired size, so please register now.

In honor of SBCO’s 25th anniversary, walkers will receive a special commemorative T-shirt, bites, and drinks at a “Snack Shack” and listen to music provided by Chuck Moses. Participants also will be able to visit booths featuring information about SBCO’s programs and some of its leading business supporters. We’re working to make this a memorable celebration of SBCO’s 25-year history of making a difference in local communities.

T-shirts will be available for pick up at the SBCO office between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24 through Friday, Oct. 28.

Be sure to register by Sept. 28 and talk to your friends and neighbors about walking together. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday morning and to support local kids!

Pride Mechanical Supports SBCO’s Kids’ Closet

Allen Pride, owner of Pride Mechanical, presents a check for $1,000 for Kids’ Closet to SaddleBrooke Community Outreach Treasurer Camille Esterman.

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

Allen and Christina Pride started their company, Pride Mechanical Heating and Cooling, in 2010. For the first two years, Allen performed all of the heating and air conditioning maintenance and repair work on his own. Today he has 18 employees who perform primarily residential preventive maintenance, retrofits, or replacements. The company’s office is now located on Oracle Road in Catalina.

To celebrate the company’s success and give back to local communities, Pride Mechanical held a luncheon and raffle for its customers on May 17. The raffle prizes were products and services donated by local businesses and tickets cost between $1 and $20, depending on the prize’s value. Pride Mechanical matched the money raised from the raffle, increasing the total proceeds to $1,000.

While gathering the raffle prizes, Allen and his employees discussed which charity should receive the funds raised. A long-time resident of San Manuel, Allen knew first-hand the economic hardship that hit the Oracle, San Manuel, and Mammoth area in June 1999 when BHP Copper, the largest employer in the area, announced that its copper mines and smelter in San Manuel would be closed immediately, leaving 2,200 people unemployed. Daniela Guerrero, a member of Pride Mechanical’s office staff, grew up in San Manuel. She recommended that the funds raised be donated to SaddleBrooke Community Outreach’s Kids’ Closet, and Allen, whose own children benefited from Kids’ Closet, quickly agreed.

Daniela said, “Throughout my school years, from kindergarten to eighth grade, I received new clothing from Kids’ Closet. I have three siblings, and they have all received clothes from there. It was always so exciting to get something you wanted or needed that you picked out yourself. Now that I am older, I think it’s pretty amazing what people are doing for these kids. Every volunteer was so nice. It’s clear they put their hearts into this work.”

Back to School

Dallas Marical (left) and Sativa Carrazco, seniors at Hayden Winkleman High School, were delighted with the purchases they made during their Teen Closet visit in July.

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

Twice a year, in the fall and spring, SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) provides school wardrobes and school supplies to children living in towns along the Copper Corridor, from Catalina north to Miami and San Carlos. Kids’ Closet serves children from preschool through eighth grade, while Teen Closet assists students in grades nine through twelve. While the programs operate differently, both are rooted in the SBCO mission of providing opportunities for kids to succeed by raising self-esteem with new clothing and shoes.

Teen Closet shopping days are held on multiple evenings in January and July at the Target and Ross Dress for Less stores in Oro Valley. Schools identify students entering ninth grade who would benefit from the program based on family need. To continue in Teen Closet, each student must attend school regularly, attain a passing GPA, and perform six hours of community service each semester to receive $250 to purchase clothing, shoes, and school supplies. Students who graduate from high school in the spring are given one last shopping trip in July, when they purchase items for their dorm rooms or apartments in addition to clothing. Over six days in July, 86 students from six high schools in the SBCO service area were met by an adult volunteer who served as the student’s personal shopper. Some students purchased expensive scientific calculators or computers with their money in addition to—or instead of—clothing. Teen Closet has given teenagers the opportunity to attend school with pride of person, knowing that they have earned this benefit through their hard work and mindfulness of the needs of others in their community. The next Teen Closet event will be held at the end of January 2023. If you would like to participate, please email [email protected] to have your name added in our volunteer list.

Kids’ Closet is located in “the big red building” in Mammoth. Students are brought on school buses or, on Saturdays, by their parents, to the facility. Inside, there is a waiting area where each child can select two books to take home. In the “zoo room”—named for the colorful animals painted on the walls—volunteers serve as personal shoppers, helping each child find clothing that fits. But the children make their own selections from the T-shirts, shorts or jeans, jackets, sweatshirts, and shoes in stock. Students also receive underwear, socks, and personal toiletry items, like toothbrushes and toothpaste. Dressing rooms and bins of clothing organized by size help to create the experience of shopping in a store. Between the fall season, which runs from September through November and the spring season, from February through April, Kids’ Closet provides approximately 3,500 wardrobes each year. Backpacks filled with grade-appropriate school supplies are delivered directly to schools for distribution. If you would like to become a Kids’ Closet volunteer, please send an email to Michelle Schroeder at [email protected].

SBCO Fall Meeting and Fashion Show

Linda Gray proves that the Golden Goose is the perfect place to shop for your Halloween party costume.

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

The SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) Fall Kick-off General Meeting, which features the popular “Golden Goose Fashion Show,” will be held at 3 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 17, in the MountainView Ballroom. This is your opportunity to learn about SBCO’s many programs to provide food, clothing, educational enrichment, and college scholarships for local youngsters—and see some affordably priced clothing. This fashion show proves that Golden Goose Thrift Shop shoppers can dress well for very little money.

Betsy Lowry sifts through Golden Goose clothing donations to find items for the annual fashion show. Clothing and coordinating accessories, from casual to formal wear—and even costumes—are selected for quality and style to display some of the best things available to shoppers. Betsy also recruits volunteers who are willing to serve as models, many of whom contribute their own fashion savvy and sense of humor to the occasion.

The Golden Goose Thrift Shop evenly divides its proceeds between SBCO and Impact of Southern Arizona. Whenever you donate items to the store or buy treasures from its inventory, you are helping to support the work of both of these charities.